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Grammy-Award winning pianist Yefim Bronfman to perform

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra launches its 20th year of performances at Lafayette with the “J. Mahlon and Grace Buck Concert,” featuring Grammy Award-winning pianist Yefim Bronfman 8 p.m. Oct. 19 in the Williams Center for the Arts.

Tickets are free for students, $4 for faculty and staff and $27 for the public. They can be obtained by calling the Williams Center box office at (610) 330-5009.

Future performers in this year’s Chamber Music series are Violinist Elizabeth Field, with Pianist Steven Silverman, Nov. 10, $15; Orpheus with Nikolaj Znaider, Feb. 3, $27; Trio Solisti with Alan Kay, March 12, $18; Orpheus with Dame Felicity Lott, March 28, $30; and the Emerson String Quartet, April 9, $22. A subscription to the series costs $109, a savings of 14 percent off the single ticket price. The March 28 performance by Orpheus with Felicity Lott is not included in the subscription price.

The performance by Orpheus will feature the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in D Minor, Op. 14 by Brahms, Brahm’s Hungarian Dances No. 1, 3, & 10, and Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No.1, Op. 9.

Orpheus and Bronfman will be performing the same concert on Oct. 23 in Carnegie Hall.

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1972 by cellist Julian Fifer and a group of fellow musicians who aspired to perform chamber orchestral repertory as chamber music through their own close collaborative efforts, and without a conductor. Orpheus developed its approach to the study and performance of this repertory by bringing to the orchestral setting the chamber music principles of personal involvement and mutual respect. Orpheus is a self-governing organization, making the repertory and interpretive decisions ordinarily assumed by a conductor. Holt/NY Times Books published a book about Orpheus and its management model, Leadership Ensemble: Lessons in Collaborative Management from the World’s Only Conductorless Orchestra, written by former Orpheus executive director Harvey Seifter and business writer Peter Economy.

Orpheus has received numerous distinctions and awards, including a 2001 Grammy Award for Shadow Dances: Stravinsky Miniatures, a 1999 Grammy Award for its jazz-inspired Ravel and Gershwin collaboration with Herbie Hancock, a 1998 Grammy nomination for its recording of Mozart piano concerti with Richard Goode, and the 1998 “Ensemble of the Year” award by Musical America.

Members of Orpheus have received recognition for solo, chamber music, and orchestral performances. Of the 18 string and 10 wind players who comprise the basic membership of Orpheus, many also hold teaching positions at prominent conservatories and universities in the New York and New England areas, including the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Montclair State University, Mannes College of Music, and Columbia and Yale Universities.

Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Bronfman immigrated to Israel in 1973 and later became an American citizen. He auditioned for the Israel Philharmonic at the age of 15 and the following year made his debut with the orchestra conducted by Kostelanetz. Two years later he toured America with the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein and Zubin Mehta and in 1976, with support from Isaac Stern and the America-Israel Foundation, Bronfman immigrated to the United States, where he studied at the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School.

He has performed across the country and the world with such groups as the Orchestre de Paris, the Finnish Radio Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra at venues which include Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. Within the realm of chamber music, Bronfman has collaborated with the Emerson, Cleveland, Guarneri, and Juilliard quartets, the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center, Joshua Bell, and Yo-Yo Ma, among many other artists.

In 1991, Bronfman was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize, one of the highest honors given to an American instrumentalist. He also received a Grammy Award in 1997 for “Best Instrumental Soloist Performance.”

The 2007-2008 Performance Series at Lafayette College is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by provisions of the Josephine Chidsey Williams Endowment, J. Mahlon and Grace Buck Fund, the Croasdale Fund, the Class of ’73 Fund, the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence Program, the James Bradley Fund, and the Ed Brunswick Jazz Fund; and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour; the F.M. Kirby Foundation, the Dexter and Dorothy Baker Foundation, and the New England Foundation for the Arts.

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